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What to look for: Avoiding holiday shopping scams

Posted at 5:11 PM, Nov 17, 2021

PHOENIX — We are right around the corner from the biggest shopping day of the year and before you start looking for the best deal, the Let Joe Know team is putting a spotlight on the scammers looking to make a quick buck.

Scammers are out there with things like fake sites and other scams you want to avoid.

Here are the top three scams we're seeing right now:

Phishing Emails: 

They look like they come from legitimate companies you may do business with, but they actually lead you to fake websites or allow malicious programs to be downloaded to your computer. Hackers are then able to gain access to your personal information and your money.

Red flags:

  • The sender's address is not the real company address. 
  • A link that leads you to an unfamiliar log-in page - always go directly to the site to log in, never use a link. 

Gift Card Scams:

These kinds of scams can take two forms: (1) A call, text, or email from a scammer saying you owe money for something and need to pay with gift cards or (2) buying discounted gift cards that could be worth nothing.

Red Flags:

  • If you're asked to pay in gift cards! It's an untraceable form of payment and one scammers often use. No reputable company will do that. 
  • A company selling gift cards has bad reviews or no reviews at all. You want to buy them through a reputable store from behind the counter or online. 

Online Pet Scams:

The holidays are a time some families bring home new pets, so online pet scams are a big thing.

Red Flags:

  • Prices that seem too good to be true. 
  • The breeder is in an area far from where you live. 
  • They ask for money upfront. 
  • They are unwilling to send you photos/videos other than what is on the website or speak to you on the phone.